Since its arrival in the 1800’s, denim has taken the world by storm. It is so versatile, tough, and durable, and can complement almost any look. Jeans have always been a fashion component, and denim is the material. Mr. Levi Strauss gave us a pair of jeans that were so tough, you could open them up and stand them on the floor. In the very early days, denim jeans were not preshrunk, which meant buying two sizes bigger and sitting in the bath for a few hours. It would take at least 20 washes before they had that lived-in look, highlighting this material’s amazing durability. In the early seventies, preshrunk denim arrived, so one could buy and try.
Denim originated from a patent made by Levi Strauss, the king of jeans, in 1873, and jeans became popular with cowboys and manual workers alike, due to the ruggedness and durability.In the 1950’s, American teenagers adopted denim, and jeans never looked back.
Hipsters hit the scene, along with the free-love age, and the lower, the better. Everyone who wasn’t a hippy was deemed a bit odd, with the exception of the other main social group, the bikers, who had their own dirty look, which denim so effectively enabled.
The seventies brought flares, and they got wider and more extreme as the decade progressed. Embroidered with butterflies and save the planet badges, the flared jeans completely ensnared the fashion world for many years.
Straight leg Jeans
Then we went back to a more traditional style, with the 501 era bringing new designs, with a range of innovative methods, including stone washing and bleaching. Jean jackets became more prominent with many looks, and denim got another boost, making it perhaps the most popular fabric in the world.
Current UK fashion
In the UK, denim is progressively changing, and this year sees black skinny jeans for men making a comeback, with a range of styles to suit every man. This year the stonewashed look has given way to the bleached and ripped brigade, with patched abound, both patterned and coloured. Denim is used for accessories, with bags and purses still using this versatile material.
This year denim patches are definitely in, with patterns and colours frequently adding a tethered look. Torn denims might have been something that resulted in a new pair of shorts, but today they are seen in all the right places.
Denim is worn by just about every culture, in every climate, and in a wide variety of styles, making it a fashion must-have. Consider where the textile industry would be without denim, which highlights its popularity. Denim is able to morph itself into any fashion arena, and with such strength and durability, is the choice of so many people.
Next time you go for a stroll in the shopping mall, take a look at just how many people are wearing denim, and it isn’t just the teenagers, people of all ages are sporting this versatile fabric.